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Deponceau v. Murray

United States District Court, N.D. New York

June 4, 2014

VICTOR ALTHEUS DEPONCEAU, Plaintiff,
v.
C. CRISPON MURRAY; DARREN WILLIAMS; and NICHOLAS DELUCA, Defendants.

VICTOR ALTHEUS DEPONCEAU Pro se Upstate Correctional Facility Malone, NY,

ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, Attorney General for the State of New York, CATHY Y. SHEEHAN, ESQ., Assistant Attorney General, Albany, NY, Counsel for Defendants.

DECISION and ORDER

GLENN T. SUDDABY, District Judge.

Currently pending before the Court, in this civil rights action filed by Victor Altheus DePonceau ("Plaintiff") against New York State Correctional Officers, C. Crispon Murray, Darren Williams and Nicholas DeLuca ("Defendants"), is Plaintiff's post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(b) or, in the alternative, for a new trial pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59. (Dkt. No. 153.) For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion is denied.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

A. Relevant Procedural History

Plaintiff originally commenced this action alleging multiple claims against 202 defendants. After several amendments of Plaintiff's complaint and reviews of the sufficiency of each, the Court determined that claims of excessive force and failure to protect against defendants C. Crispon Murray, Darren Williams and Nicholas DeLuca should be tried.

The trial in this action occurred on December 11 and 12, 2013. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury reached a verdict in favor of Defendants and Judgment was entered accordingly. On January 6, 2014, Plaintiff filed the current motion for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, for a new trial.[1] Defendants oppose this motion.

B. Parties' Briefing on Plaintiff's Motion

Generally, liberally construed, in his post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, for a new trial, Plaintiff asserts the following arguments: (1) Defendants committed perjury during the trial; (2) all attorneys in the case suborned Defendants' perjury; (3) evidence was withheld from the jury, including mail fraud by Governor Paterson; (4) the Attorney General and Assistant Attorneys General vindictively prosecuted Plaintiff by objecting to all of Plaintiff's evidence, withholding information from the jury and using sealed arrest records; (5) Defendants withheld discovery, including the names of the Defendants as well as Brady[2] material; (6) Plaintiff was denied medical treatment; (7) Plaintiff was assaulted by Defendants; and (8) the jury were not members of Plaintiff's peers and "seem[ed] to consist of Law-enforcement type people who easily gave weight to the [Defendants]" (Dkt. No. 153 at 32 [Pl.'s Mem. of Law]). ( See generally Dkt. No. 153 [Pl.'s Mem. of Law]; Dkt. No. 160 [Aff. of Pl.].)

Generally, in response to Plaintiff's motion, Defendants assert the following arguments: (1) the evidence offered at trial established well beyond a preponderance that Defendants did not use excessive force against Plaintiff or fail to protect Plaintiff from the use of excessive force; (2) Plaintiff did not seek a motion for judgment as a matter of law prior to filing the current post trial motion and the verdict in this case was solidly grounded in legal support; and (3) Plaintiff's arguments are an attempt to re-litigate this case, but there has been no intervening change in controlling law, no new evidence and no clear error or manifest injustice. (Dkt. No. 161 [Defs.' Mem. of Law].)

II. GOVERNING LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Legal Standard Governing Motions for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict ...


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